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-   -   Social media censorship roundup (http://cellar.org/showthread.php?t=34718)

Undertoad 12-09-2019 09:03 AM

Social media censorship roundup
 
I'll put it all here so you can ignore it if you don't care.

Yesterday, alternative site Gab, which says it will not censor anything unless the government says it cannot be published, prohibited all porn from its site (which is not unusual) and published many tweets saying they did it because porn is bad for you.

Undertoad 12-09-2019 09:04 AM

Today, Twitter suspended several journalists for linking to the Pensacola shooter's manifesto.

fargon 12-09-2019 09:31 AM

Oh dear! We cannot offend anyone.

lumberjim 12-09-2019 02:38 PM

this thread has been incarcerated for it's own protection

monster 12-09-2019 08:18 PM

it's election season?

xoxoxoBruce 12-09-2019 10:44 PM

It appears now it's always election season.

Undertoad 12-11-2019 08:39 PM

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that

"Twitter is funding a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media. The goal is for Twitter to ultimately be a client of this standard."

Excellent and forward-thinking.

Clodfobble 12-11-2019 09:22 PM

"Like Mastodon, except we own it."

xoxoxoBruce 12-12-2019 12:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Undertoad (Post 1042929)
"Twitter is funding a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media.

Nerds. Social media according to Garp? More separation?
If the teacher makes them play nice in school there'll be hell to pay on the playground.

Undertoad 12-18-2019 06:30 PM

Vimeo will ban content critical of vaccines, apparently joining Facebook and Twitter

Undertoad 12-21-2019 10:48 AM

Instagram is applying fact-checking censorship to memes and jokes.

http://cellar.org/img/instagramjokes.jpg

http://cellar.org/img/instagramjokes2.jpg

http://cellar.org/img/instagramjokes3.jpg

Undertoad 01-10-2020 11:00 PM

Instagram and its parent company Facebook are removing posts that voice support for slain Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani to comply with US sanctions, a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Business.

Undertoad 01-13-2020 07:43 AM

Reddit's /r/worldnews mods removed a top rated, multi-awarded comment that translated the Iranian protesters slogans... and then half a day later, re-approved it.

Luce 01-13-2020 08:29 AM

Wait. How do opinions violate sanctions?

Undertoad 01-13-2020 09:30 AM

They don't. So why is Facebook suppressing opinions? I'll tell ya....

I liked this part of the story:

Quote:

As part of its compliance with US law, the Facebook spokesperson said the company removes accounts run by or on behalf of sanctioned people and organizations.

It also removes posts that commend the actions of sanctioned parties and individuals and seek to help further their actions, the spokesperson said, adding that Facebook has an appeals process if users feel their posts were removed in error.
Critical reading: "removing accounts run by or on behalf of sanctioned people and organizations" = required

"[removing] posts that commend the actions of sanctioned parties and individuals" = not required, but they do it "also".

Why?

Here's a real world example from 2019. 1) YouTube gets bad press because stories say it has Nazis. 2) YouTube advertisers panic. 3) YouTube modifies its algorithm to demonetize, and never recommend, all videos that contain the word "Nazi". 4) All history-teaching and anti-Nazi videos that mention the word are demonetized and never recommended.

Worst possible outcome. But Youtube can't algorithmically detect which videos are Nazi and which are anti-Nazi. Way easier to just shadowban them all.

If anyone is interested, here is a very stylish and entertaining video that details the Youtube approach to keywords. They have thousands of keywords! The investigators found, for example, that a video title with the words "gay" and "homosexual" would be automatically demonetized, but "straight" and "heterosexual" were fine.

OUR DISCOURSE IS NOW CONTROLLED BY SHITTY ALGORITHMS. This is a disaster.


Undertoad 01-13-2020 02:03 PM

After Soleimani’s death, Instagram shuts down Iranian accounts

Quote:

At least fifteen Iranian journalists have reported having their accounts suspended, according to the International Federation of Journalists. Government-owned and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-affiliated media agencies such as Tasnim News Agency, the Iran Newspaper and Jamaran News all had their accounts, with a combined hundreds of thousands of followers, removed entirely by Instagram. “This poses an immediate threat to freedom of information in Iran,” the International Federation of Journalists said in a statement.
But did it affect just the official Iranian news agencies? Of course not!

Quote:

Iranian influencers, human rights advocates, and activists are also experiencing account shutdowns.

“It’s very widespread, it’s huge,” said Amir Rashidi, an Iran internet security and digital rights researcher based in New York, who watched on Instagram as account after account in Iran was shut down or had posts removed after users discussed the killing. “Every person I saw that posted about Soleimani on Instagram, almost all of their posts have been removed.”

Flint 01-13-2020 07:15 PM

Troubling. Good lord.

Undertoad 01-16-2020 06:49 PM

Quote:

Here's a real world example from 2019. 1) YouTube gets bad press because stories say it has Nazis. 2) YouTube advertisers panic. 3) YouTube modifies its algorithm to demonetize, and never recommend, all videos that contain the word "Nazi". 4) All history-teaching and anti-Nazi videos that mention the word are demonetized and never recommended.
YouTube has now censored the very anti-Nazi 1943 Frank Capra documentary "Prelude to War".

It was financed by the US Gov, shown to all soldiers.

The uploader was well-known internet archivist Carl Malamud.

It's important historical material.

The automatic ban survived a manual appeals process, which means it was reviewed by a human reviewer and judged to be in Violation of the YouTube Community Guidelines.

Gravdigr 01-16-2020 06:57 PM

History, deny it, it never happened.

henry quirk 01-16-2020 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gravdigr (Post 1044836)
History, deny it, it never happened.

Read books (before the Firemen come).

Griff 01-17-2020 07:16 AM

It would appear, we are fucking this up.

xoxoxoBruce 01-17-2020 01:49 PM

It's a byproduct of AI's one-algorithm-fits-all solutions. Them's the rules, baby, no exceptions, no borderline cases, black of white, live or die. Law & order has no room for justice.

Undertoad 01-17-2020 02:03 PM

The Nerd City video worked out that the algorithms are being trained by offshore workers in third world countries.

Such as this one, I'm betting:

The automatic ban survived a manual appeals process, which means it was reviewed by a human reviewer and judged to be in Violation of the YouTube Community Guidelines.

Once the ban is human-reviewed, it's more permanent and will be used by the algorithm going forward.

xoxoxoBruce 01-17-2020 02:15 PM

So some human says, yup, has the word Nazi, ban it.

Griff 01-17-2020 02:42 PM

Some human, possibly ESL, from a different culture...

xoxoxoBruce 01-17-2020 11:40 PM

ESL = English as a Second Language, had to Google it, too many abbreviations and acronyms. :rollanim:

Luce 01-20-2020 04:09 PM

So maybe the free market isn't as free as it sounds.

henry quirk 01-20-2020 08:01 PM

What 'free market'?
 
😕

Luce 01-21-2020 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by henry quirk (Post 1045137)
😕

A free market has never existed and cannot exist, for the exact same reason that communism doesn't work in practice.

This social media weirdness is a prime example of this.

henry quirk 01-21-2020 11:16 AM

Luce, you got some splainin' to do.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Luce (Post 1045168)
*A free market has never existed and cannot exist, for the exact same reason that **communism doesn't work in practice.

This social media weirdness is a prime example of this.

*Why?

**Why?

Luce 01-21-2020 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by henry quirk (Post 1045171)
*Why?

**Why?

Because the first guy to come up with a workable, economic solution dominates their end of the market, and competition is at best desultory.

So you have stand alone BBSs. Some generate revenue, some do not.

Then Facebook comes along. Facebook generates revenue while charging its users nothing at all. (Myspace was an earlier, failed attempt at this) Then they own an entire sector of human behavior, which they analyze and sell to outside interests.

Then MeWe came along, had a better platform, promised to stop the abuses and censorship, but there wasn't enough market share left for them to do much of anything at all...They lacked the financial muscle to compete with Facebook. Nobody on the planet has the financial muscle to compete with Facebook.

This has now been proven to be true, so Facebook does whatever they please, knowing that folks like MeWe will not unseat them in the foreseeable future. You have no realistic choice in the market, as a consumer.

Youtube has the exact same monopoly, for the exact same reasons.

And they're not going to come up with actual solutions to blindly censoring entire topics, because there is no market pressure for them to do so.

There are numerous offline examples of the same problem.

So the market is an aristocracy in fact, and a meritocracy only in theory.

Luce 01-21-2020 11:40 AM

Also worth mentioning: If a free market as described were possible then, by definition, that's what we would have, because any attempt to dislodge it would be derailed by market forces.

Undertoad 01-21-2020 01:33 PM

Actually most people demand censorship from their social media. (The advertisers definitely do.)

There is very little anger over the things I've pointed out here.

Luce 01-21-2020 03:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Undertoad (Post 1045187)
Actually most people demand censorship from their social media. (The advertisers definitely do.)

There is very little anger over the things I've pointed out here.

Most people will viciously squash anything that moves out of their comfort zone. This is hardly news.

henry quirk 01-22-2020 09:30 AM

"Because the first guy to come up with a workable, economic solution dominates their end of the market, and competition is at best desultory."

As long as the monopoly isn't fostered, supported, or protected (or opposed) by the the big stick of government, why is this a problem? And how is this a negation of the free market? Fortune favors the bold.

#

"Then Facebook comes along. Facebook generates revenue while charging its users nothing at all. (Myspace was an earlier, failed attempt at this) Then they own an entire sector of human behavior, which they analyze and sell to outside interests."

I think they successfully cater to to what folks want.

If folks don't want their info sold, they can choose to not participate (don't use facebook).

If facebook doesn't lie to their customers, then what's the problem?

If they do lie: hold them to account, or stop associating with 'em.

#

"Then MeWe came along, had a better platform, promised to stop the abuses and censorship, but there wasn't enough market share left for them to do much of anything at all...They lacked the financial muscle to compete with Facebook. Nobody on the planet has the financial muscle to compete with Facebook."

It wasn't a lack of an infinitely fluid market (share), it was a lack of successful marketing. They didn't advertise themselves well or enough. If they had, and if indeed they had a better service, then they shoulda succeeded.

This is how free competition works. The fairness is in the ability to start the business, not in some guarantee of success. That is: the ant isn't prohibited from goin' up against the anteater, but his success or failure is entirely on him.

#

"This has now been proven to be true, so Facebook does whatever they please, knowing that folks like MeWe will not unseat them in the foreseeable future. You have no realistic choice in the market, as a consumer."

If customers are satisfied, or are not entirely displeased, with the service, and if no one else is steppin' up with a better product and successful marketing, then where's the complaint? How has the free market been short circuited?

#

"And they're not going to come up with actual solutions to blindly censoring entire topics, because there is no market pressure for them to do so."

Exactly. If the bulk of customers aren't particularly bothered by bias or advertising or censoring (which it really isn't), facebook won't change a thing. Why should they?

#

"So the market is an aristocracy in fact, and a meritocracy only in theory."

A free market is nuthin' but folks transactin' freely (aristocracy and meritocracy have nuthin' to do with it).

Reality is: we don't have a free market (except on the local level, sometimes) cuz our employees favor some and restrict others. They monkey around with supply and demand.

fargon 01-22-2020 10:15 AM

I just heard about MeWe this morning.

henry quirk 01-22-2020 10:21 AM

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/MeWe_(social_media)

Me, I never heard of 'em before Luce's mention of them up-thread.

I take wiki with a grain, but, if the piece is accurate, they don't seem so down & out as Luce portrayed 'em.

Luce 01-22-2020 11:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by henry quirk (Post 1045257)
"Because the first guy to come up with a workable, economic solution dominates their end of the market, and competition is at best desultory."

As long as the monopoly isn't fostered, supported, or protected (or opposed) by the the big stick of government, why is this a problem? And how is this a negation of the free market? Fortune favors the bold.

#

Why does it matter how it's foster, supported, or protected?

Quote:

"Then Facebook comes along. Facebook generates revenue while charging its users nothing at all. (Myspace was an earlier, failed attempt at this) Then they own an entire sector of human behavior, which they analyze and sell to outside interests."

I think they successfully cater to to what folks want.

If folks don't want their info sold, they can choose to not participate (don't use facebook).

If facebook doesn't lie to their customers, then what's the problem?

If they do lie: hold them to account, or stop associating with 'em.

#
They cater to what people will put up with in exchange for pictures of cats.

Quote:

"Then MeWe came along, had a better platform, promised to stop the abuses and censorship, but there wasn't enough market share left for them to do much of anything at all...They lacked the financial muscle to compete with Facebook. Nobody on the planet has the financial muscle to compete with Facebook."

It wasn't a lack of an infinitely fluid market (share), it was a lack of successful marketing. They didn't advertise themselves well or enough. If they had, and if indeed they had a better service, then they shoulda succeeded.
They did have a better service. Their attempts at advertising were buried alive, as they lacked the financial muscle to saturate non-social media outlets enough to penetrate the market.

Quote:

This is how free competition works. The fairness is in the ability to start the business, not in some guarantee of success. That is: the ant isn't prohibited from goin' up against the anteater, but his success or failure is entirely on him.

#
Yes. The first past the post has effectively a permanent monopoly. That's an aristocracy.

Quote:

If customers are satisfied, or are not entirely displeased, with the service, and if no one else is steppin' up with a better product and successful marketing, then where's the complaint? How has the free market been short circuited?

#
It hasn't. It's just not a free market.


Quote:

"So the market is an aristocracy in fact, and a meritocracy only in theory."

A free market is nuthin' but folks transactin' freely (aristocracy and meritocracy have nuthin' to do with it).
You have one choice. Choose freely.

Luce 01-22-2020 11:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fargon (Post 1045258)
I just heard about MeWe this morning.

They've been around for 9 years.

As a result of low/no traffic, they are effectively dark web.

ie, the people that go there now go there because they want to talk about things without being seen doing it.

henry quirk 01-22-2020 12:04 PM

"Why does it matter how it's foster, supported, or protected?"

Cuz free and managed are not synonymous.

#

"They cater to what people will put up with in exchange for pictures of cats."

And if the bulk or folks are satisfied with tradin' off info for cat videos, where's the problem?

#

"They did have a better service. Their attempts at advertising were buried alive, as they lacked the financial muscle to saturate non-social media outlets enough to penetrate the market."

Well, the wiki link paints a somewhat less bleak picture. As i say, though, i take wiki with a grain. Anyway, an uphill climb is not the same as 'no, you aren't allowed on the hill'.

#

"The first past the post has effectively a permanent monopoly. That's an aristocracy."

Ain't nuthin' permanent about a natural monopoly. It may last for generations but one innovation can topple it. And, no, you're misusing aristocracy. It's easier to lambaste 'em when you can paint them as privileged, but we both know that ain't the case.

Powerful? Yep. Protected? Mebbe. Aristocratic? No.

#

"It's just not a free market."

It's not, but not for the reasons you state.

#

"Choose freely."

And wisely.

Luce 01-23-2020 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by henry quirk (Post 1045266)
"Why does it matter how it's foster, supported, or protected?"

Cuz free and managed are not synonymous.

#

Just so we're clear, you only object to government interference in the market?

henry quirk 01-23-2020 02:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luce (Post 1045342)
Just so we're clear, you only object to government interference in the market?

When the big stick of gov is levied against, or used to to protect, someone in the economy (even with the best of intentions), this is rank interference that short circuits the market. Let buyers and sellers, in their endless, on-goin', transactions punish and reward. Take offenders to court, if you must, as last resort (let those decisions inform similar matters down the road [and keep the goddamned legislators under heel and away from the marketplace).

My standard is simple: Do not knowingly, willingly, without just cause, deprive, in part or whole, the other guy of his life, liberty, or property, and you can do as you like (in the bedroom, in the church, in business).

Sell whatever you like, as you like, be honest about what it is you're sellin', make a million (if you can).

Luce 01-23-2020 03:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by henry quirk (Post 1045347)
When the big stick of gov is levied against, or used to to protect, someone in the economy (even with the best of intentions), this is rank interference that short circuits the market. Let buyers and sellers, in their endless, on-goin', transactions punish and reward. Take offenders to court, if you must, as last resort (let those decisions inform similar matters down the road [and keep the goddamned legislators under heel and away from the marketplace).

My standard is simple: Do not knowingly, willingly, without just cause, deprive, in part or whole, the other guy of his life, liberty, or property, and you can do as you like (in the bedroom, in the church, in business).

Sell whatever you like, as you like, be honest about what it is you're sellin', make a million (if you can).

So is that a yes or a no?

fargon 01-23-2020 03:22 PM

I would take that as a yes.

henry quirk 01-23-2020 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fargon (Post 1045352)
I would take that as a yes.

👍🏻

Luce 01-24-2020 08:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by henry quirk (Post 1045358)
👍🏻

But in our model (hell, in every model), there isn't any such thing as government interference, for the same reason privately-maintained monopolies don't matter.

By which I mean, the government is an intrinsic part of the market.

Undertoad 01-24-2020 08:52 AM

The US government is not really involved in the social media censorship question.

But if it were widely involved, it would make the problem far worse, by applying more ridiculous censorship, in more ham-handed ways.

We know this already. Social media just gets rid of everything with "Nazi" in it; an otherwise reasonable UK government goes a huge step further, and fines a pug owner 800 pounds for making a joke about Nazis. Sends police around to question the nature of tweets. Sometimes arrests joking tweeters and charges them.

Luce 01-24-2020 08:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Undertoad (Post 1045387)
The US government is not really involved in the social media censorship question.

But if it were widely involved, it would make the problem far worse, by applying more ridiculous censorship, in more ham-handed ways.

We know this already. Social media just gets rid of everything with "Nazi" in it; an otherwise reasonable UK government goes a huge step further, and fines a pug owner 800 pounds for making a joke about Nazis. Sends police around to question the nature of tweets. Sometimes arrests joking tweeters and charges them.

I think they know that. They DID try to get involved (Communications Decency Act), but found it to be unenforceable.

Luce 01-24-2020 08:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Undertoad (Post 1045387)
an otherwise reasonable UK government

Wait. What?

The UK government has never been reasonable. Incidentally, this probably didn't help the man's case:

Quote:

Meechan was supported in court by by Tommy Robinson, former leader of far-right group the English Defence League (EDL).

Undertoad 01-24-2020 09:09 AM

As opposed to all the other governments we like so well. If we threw a dart at a globe, chances are the government it landed on would be actively limiting what sites people can visit and pawing through their searches, as much as possible.

Quote:

Meechan was supported in court by by Tommy Robinson
If that had an effect on the outcome it is just that much more shameful.

Luce 01-24-2020 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Undertoad (Post 1045390)
As opposed to all the other governments we like so well. If we threw a dart at a globe, chances are the government it landed on would be actively limiting what sites people can visit and pawing through their searches, as much as possible.

The UK has always liked to listen in on phones and the internet.


Quote:

If that had an effect on the outcome it is just that much more shameful.
If you are arguing in court that the Nazi comments were taken out of context, or were a joke, then having Tommy Robinson show up isn't the best thing that could happen to you.

henry quirk 01-24-2020 09:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luce (Post 1045385)
But in our model (hell, in every model), there isn't any such thing as government interference, for the same reason privately-maintained monopolies don't matter.

By which I mean, the government is an intrinsic part of the market.

If gov is an intrinsic part of the market (as regulator, for example [which is interference to my mind]) then the market is managed, not free.

And: I didn't say diddly about privately-maintained monopolies. I mentioned, in passing, natural monopolies

Would you like to know about natural monopolies and why they're superior to the artificial monopolies you get with managed markets?

I'll be glad to rant about it (I haven't had a good libertarian rant in a coon's age, so I'm well-primed).

Undertoad 01-24-2020 09:32 AM

To imagine that the outcome of a public trial would be affected by whom is in favor of the different sides is...



...a pretty solid argument for keeping government out of managing any social media, in any way

Luce 01-24-2020 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by henry quirk (Post 1045395)
If gov is an intrinsic part of the market (as regulator, for example [which is interference to my mind]) then the market is managed, not free.


The government is not only a regulator, but a participant in the market.


Quote:

I'll be glad to rant about it (I haven't had a good libertarian rant in a coon's age, so I'm well-primed).
Sorry, I've heard it before.

Luce 01-24-2020 10:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Undertoad (Post 1045396)
To imagine that the outcome of a public trial would be affected by whom is in favor of the different sides is...



...a pretty solid argument for keeping government out of managing any social media, in any way

I'm not disagreeing.

henry quirk 01-24-2020 10:23 AM

"The government is not only a regulator, but a participant in the market."

Yeah, it interferes up and down the line: as regulator, standard-setter, participant; as enforcer, as restrictor, as thief.

And the one thing it should be doin' (contract arbitration) it does poorly cuz it's mixed up in all the other nonsense I list above.

Luce 01-24-2020 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by henry quirk (Post 1045404)
"The government is not only a regulator, but a participant in the market."

Yeah, it interferes up and down the line: as regulator, standard-setter, participant; as enforcer, as restrictor, as thief.

And the one thing it should be doin' (contract arbitration) it does poorly cuz it's mixed up in all the other nonsense I list above.

This is like saying a fish interferes with the ocean.

Technically true, but meaningless.

henry quirk 01-24-2020 01:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luce (Post 1045410)
This is like saying a fish interferes with the ocean.

Technically true, but meaningless.

No, it's like sayin' a kid fucks around with an ant farm, instead of just leavin' 'em be.

It's worse though, cuz humans aren't ants to be farmed (but those folks who are supposed to be our employees often treat us, and our interactions, as such).

Luce 01-24-2020 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by henry quirk (Post 1045412)
No, it's like sayin' a kid fucks around with an ant farm, instead of just leavin' 'em be.

It's worse though, cuz humans aren't ants to be farmed (but those folks who are supposed to be our employees often treat us, and our interactions, as such).

Has anyone told employers this?

henry quirk 01-24-2020 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luce (Post 1045414)
Has anyone told employers this?

The employers (the private citizens) know the employees (the elected folk) are fuckin' around. Some care, many don't.

Domestication.


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